MSc Intercultural Business Communication

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Explore the key role intercultural business communication plays in the global economy and gain the skills you need for a career in international business ventures.

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Course introduction

Intercultural business communication deals with the study of communication in intercultural and cross-cultural business contexts. It plays a key role in the global economy and world commerce as it cuts across cultural differences between international business partners and clients.

This course will give you a solid understanding of intercultural business communication and a range of issues related to cross-cultural business. You'll be well prepared for a career in international tourism, commerce and marketing.


Carlotta Zorzi

You’ll critically examine issues related to cross-cultural business behaviour, cultural dimensions, the key role of language, critical cultural awareness, and training for intercultural sensitivity.

You’ll discuss the works of major intercultural researchers and the critiques they have received in order to contribute to a more widening debate of intercultural theory and research.

This course gives you grounding in the global economic environment and the opportunity to specialise in an area of business. You’ll also study an in-depth introduction to research methodology, appropriate to undertaking research at this level.

With an international outlook, MSc Intercultural Business Communication attracts students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. By the end of the course, you’ll have a systematic understanding of intercultural business communication and competing theories of culture and communication.

You’ll also have the ability to critically and flexibly apply theoretical models to cross-cultural business contexts, including those of international marketing, commerce, advertising and tourism.

This is a one year full-time course starting in September and is split up into three trimesters. You'll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and independent study.

Subjects include

  • Intercultural Business Communication
  • Understanding Language in the Global Workplace
  • Developing Intercultural Competence in the Workplace
  • Advertising as Cultural Discourse
  • Two options
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation

One option from

  • Global Economic Environment & Marketing
  • Contemporary HRM
  • Principles and Practice of Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Business Skills for Event Management in the Tourism Industry
  • International Business Event Management
  • Postgraduate Language -French, German, Spanish or Italian

One option from

  • Global Marketing
  • Organisational Change management
  • Case Studies in International Tourism
  • Postgraduate Language -French, German, Spanish or Italian


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Opportunities in international tourism, commerce and marketing and also human resources, where trained professionals are required to negotiate business ventures with overseas clients and markets and train and support international workforces.

You could also progress to further academic study on a higher research degree.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above, or equivalent.  We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider equivalent or lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Home/EU £6,450 £6,466
Overseas £12,620 £12,620
This course comprises of 180 credits - 120 from taught modules and 60 from the dissertation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Modules that you will study as part of this course*

Advertising as Cultural Discourse ( LNG11105 )

This module considers advertising as a form of cultural discourse reflecting perceptions of society and otherness. It allows you to develop critical awareness of linguistic, rhetorical, content and semiotic approaches to the analysis of text, sound and image of different forms of advertising and to apply these to a variety of geographical, temporal and media contexts. Throughout the course the emphasis is placed on cross-cultural comparisons. It involves the following: Discussion of theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of advertising text and image in large diachronic studies and small samples; selection of advertising material in different historical and cultural contexts; intertextuality; representation of nationhood; construction of the 'tourist gaze' in destination advertising; use of stereotypes; language fetish in advertising discourse; impact of regulations on advertising creativity and production.

Further information

Business Skills for Events Management in the Tourism Industry ( TSM11101 )

The module covers the various issues involved in the planning, development and management of those events specifically designed for the tourism industry. Specifically, the module considers the sources of funding, budgetary and other financial issues associated with planning and managing an event for tourism; it examines the people skills, quality issues, employment contracts and other human resource development concerns that need to be taken into account by events managers and organisers within the tourism industry; it addresses logistical issues such as crowd control, venue selection, staging and lighting which must be addressed in event management for tourism; it considers the various aspects of risk management for events designed for tourism, specifically the financial, legal and ethical safeguards required.

Further information

Case Studies in International Tourism ( TSM11105 )

• International Cultural comparison • Case Study method and comparative research methodologies • Tourism and Development • Tourism planning and policy • Urban and Rural tourism systems; • Competitiveness and responsible tourism development; • Ethical issues in international tourism • Cross-cultural behaviour in tourism • Global issues and value analysis.

Further information

Contemporary Human Resource Management ( HRM11101 )

The module starts with a brief introduction to developing theory and current models of HRM, providing a framework for more detailed consideration of key operational areas: resourcing, development, performance management & reward, and the management of the employment relationship to minimise conflict and encourage employee engagement. Current issues such as work life balance and the management of diversity are given particular focus

Further information

Developing Intercultural Competence in the Workplace ( LNG11120 )

This module begins with a discussion of the cultural diversity phenomenon, a day-to-day reality that brings both challenges and opportunites to today’s workplace. Approaches adopted by practitioners to managing cultural diversity will be critically examined and compared, with a particular emphasis on intercultural team-building. The module content then focuses on intercultural competence, an element that is central to the intercultural team-building agenda. Perspectives and insights will be drawn from relevant disciplines, such as intercultural communication, cross-cultural management and education. Participants will consider ways of cultivating their own intercultural competence as well as facilitating others’ intercultural competence development (especially in work-based contexts). To facilitate the exploration of these two areas, participants will engage with theories and practices in intercultural training in a peer-supported learning environment and reflect upon their own intercultural learning experience in this environment.

Further information

Dissertation ( LNG11130 )

Research methodologies, critically reviewing literature, research design and ethics, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination. Individual research, production of a dissertation, reflection on work undertaken.

Further information

Global Economic Environment and Marketing ( SOE11129 )

The global economy, the concepts of markets and their structures; government policies and their impact on businesses; cross country cultural differences their impact on global business decision making; the global marketing concept and strategy planning; the marketing environments and consumer & organisational buyer behaviour; ethics and responsible marketing; marketing research and international market segmentation; managing the international marketing mix & brand development

Further information

Global Marketing ( MKT11104 )

* Introduction to Global Marketing - A Strategic Perspective * The Strategic Marketing Process and Global Marketing Challenges * The Global Trading Environment * The Social and Cultural Diversity and Complexity of Globalisation * Global Market Research and Opportunity Analysis * Globalisation and Market Entry Strategies * Global Product and Service Marketing * Global Channels of Communication * Pricing for Global Markets * The Management of Global Distribution and Logistics * Global / International Niche Strategies for Small and Medium Size (SME) Organisations * Sustaining Competitive Advantage in a Global Environment

Further information

Intercultural Business Communication ( LNG11106 )

This module will provide you with a thorough understanding of specific theories of culture and communication, cultural systems and dimensions offered by major intercultural researchers and the critiques they have received in order to contribute to a more widening debate of intercultural theory and research. Taught sessions will address the notions of culture and intercultural business communication, and theoretical frameworks about cultural systems, cultural complexity and acculturation. There is also one session devoted to an intercultural workshop that helps you rehearse, through practical activities, the input from the previous taught sessions

Further information

International Business Event Management ( TSM11113 )

The meetings industry is of huge global economic importance (Davidson and Cope, 2003). Business events play a significant role in generating tourism revenue for destinations, thus contributing towards economic prosperity. In this module, you will learn about the major stakeholders in the business event industry, and how they interact with one another. You will examine issues of supply and demand at all levels, and analyse the impact made by business events on their chosen destination. You will be taken on visits to event venues, and will hear guest speakers from industry. This will enable you to connect the theory to the practice. The module contains the following topics: the business events industry in context; buyers, suppliers and intermediaries; supply and demand characteristics of the industry; the external environment; event planning (buyer and supplier perspectives); impacts of business events and venues; current trends and future issues.

Further information

Marketing Communications ( MKT11101 )

Communications theory, stakeholders, decision making process, integrated marketing communications, marketing communications planning, budgeting & evaluation, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, sponsorship, direct marketing, personal selling, exhibitions, packaging, online communications, b2b communication, internal communications

Further information

Organisational Change and Management ( HRM11118 )

This module focuses on the behaviour of people at work by placing an emphasis on understanding the vital importance of managing change and culture. It covers two broad areas, namely: 1. Organisational Behaviour: attitudes; perception; motivation; groups and teams; leadership; management of transformational change; power, politics and conflict; and 2. Managerial Process and Skills: activities designed to develop skills relating to the management of people, including corporate social responsibility By the end of the module you will have developed an appreciation of the dynamics of working organisations in a rapidly evolving business environment by planning and carrying forward system-wide change programmes.

Further information

Postgraduate Language - French ( LNG11111 )

You will study a foreign language at an appropriate level focusing on the applied skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Through this study you will also gain an informed cultural empathy which combined with the language skills, will enhance your capability to access and research authentic, current, foreign language sources of information. These skills will be applied in researching and writing an independent project on an aspect of your named programme of study. v

Further information

Postgraduate Language - German ( LNG11113 )

You will study a foreign language at an appropriate level focusing on the applied skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Through this study you will also gain an informed cultural empathy which combined with the language skills, will enhance your capability to access and research authentic, current, foreign language sources of information. These skills will be applied in researching and writing an independent project on an aspect of your named programme of study.

Further information

Postgraduate Language - Italian ( LNG11114 )

You will study a foreign language at an appropriate level focusing on the applied skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Through this study you will also gain an informed cultural empathy which combined with the language skills, will enhance your capability to access and research authentic, current, foreign language sources of information. These skills will be applied in researching and writing an independent project on an aspect of your named programme of study.

Further information

Postgraduate Language - Spanish ( LNG11112 )

You will study a foreign language at an appropriate level focusing on the applied skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Through this study you will also gain an informed cultural empathy which combined with the language skills, will enhance your capability to access and research authentic, current, foreign language sources of information. These skills will be applied in researching and writing an independent project on an aspect of your named programme of study.

Further information

Principles and Practice of Marketing ( MKT11108 )

The first part of the module will be explicitly based on marketing management principles and theories and focused directly on practical marketing management issues. Using this knowledge, you will work in a group and develop and present a marketing plan which will be applied in a computer-based business simulation. In the second part of the module you will have the opportunity to apply your proposed marketing plan and run a company in the virtual environment. In the end of the module, you will be asked to write a report which justifies your marketing decisions, evaluates the company’s performance and presents a 3 year plan based on the company’s situation at the time the simulation closes. This module encourages all aspects of teamwork and application of marketing principles and theories

Further information

Research Methods ( SOE11131 )

Research methodologies, critically reviewing literature, research design and ethics, data collection methods (qualitative, quantitative and mixed), analysis methods, research writing and dissemination.

Further information

Understanding Language in the Global Workplace ( LNG11118 )

The module content will provide you with an understanding of a number of theories of language, such as how language can affect thought (e.g. Sapir Whorff (see Hua 2004 (ed.)), representations of language, such as how it plays the role of a game (e.g. Saussure, Wittgenstein), the importance of dialogue and conversation in creating meanings (e.g. Bakhtin), different ‘formal levels’ of language used in different media and text types, or genres (e.g. Swales) and how to analyse writing and speaking, or discourse (e.g. Fairclough). The module content also considers the role of language in culture (e.g. Scollon and Scollon), different cultures (or ethnographies) of communication (e.g. Dell Hymes), and theories of translation (e.g. Werner and Campbell (see Cortazzi et al, 2011)) and interpreting (e.g. Vermeer (See Cortazzi et al, 2011)). One hour lectures will cover these areas. Follow up two hour tutorials will discuss these aspects in how they apply to written and spoken texts taken from professional contexts. We will reflect on and critically evaluate how language is used, focusing on the impact and influence language has. Both the theory and practice will help you to be aware of the effect of language usage choices you hear and read, and also the language usage choices you make when you speak and write yourself. This will help you to be more effective in your professional career (Usunier, 2011).

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.